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Bad Advertising Traffic & Conversion

Bad Advertising – Ziba What Were You Thinking? Part II

Bad advertising is everywhere. And offline advertising is just as bad, if not worse, than online advertising. Luckily, both can be learned from. And some advertising that I see is so bafflingly bad that it actually becomes instructive to show it to you —  as an example of what NOT to do. This is the […]

Bad advertising is everywhere. And offline advertising is just as bad, if not worse, than online advertising. Luckily, both can be learned from.

And some advertising that I see is so bafflingly bad that it actually becomes instructive to show it to you —  as an example of what NOT to do.

This is the purpose of the Bad Advertising series. Let’s pick up where we left off.

If you remember I was eating lunch at my local, upscale mall a few weeks ago, when I was bombarded by the advertisements of a company called Ziba, who had launched an expensive, but horrendously off target marketing campaign.

I got my lunch and sat down at a table in the middle of the bustling Food Court. And at every single table I saw this:

Photo_110807_005.jpg
 

On every, single, table… HUNDREDS of them.

If you look at this 8 x 12 postcard sized, free standing ad, a full 2/3 of it is devoted to a woman holding a string to her face.

Now, there is something to be said about an attractive woman getting attention for an ad, but not when the rest of the ad is off kilter.

Like the expression says, "You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear". And there are a lot of things inherently wrong with this ad that NO picture can save…

Here were some of the disastrous errors that immediately sprang to mind:

* No attention grabbing headline to pre determine who the target market is, or to make a compelling offer or promise.

* Again, the huge, pointless picture that fills up 2/3 of the ad. It’s not that the picture in and of itself is bad. It’s that the image is confusing. A person’s first thought when looking at this picture is not, "Wow this is a beautiful face devoid of unwanted hair… I would like to know how that happened…" Instead, the white lines criss-crossing the model’s face look like printing errors, not the device used to remove hair. It’s confusing, and a confused mind does not buy.

* Extremely limited copy. Of the remaining third of the ad (the part not filled by the pointless picture), a third is devoted to the name of the company (ZIBA), and another 1/3 is dedicated to store locations.

* The final third has some copy, but it’s CONFUSING. Just like the large display ad we covered in Part 1 of this series, the miniscule amount of copy talks about the "Art of Threading" What the heck is "threading?" And how is it an art? What’s in it for me?

* No call to action. In a tiny, TINY paragraph it talks about threading being an ancient Indian technique that removes hair from the face and body. That’s it. That makes me about as excited to take action as taking a tour of a cardboard box factory.

So remember, Lesson #1 was – Who is your prospect and how can your product or service benefit her?

Lesson #2 is – Does your ad create or intensify your prospect’s desire for the type of product you’re selling by presenting the benefits it will bring to his or her life?

No dice here, Ziba…

I mean, these ads are still not giving me ANY compelling reasons or benefits to even THINK about taking the time to see what this is all about.

Granted, I am not the target market, but ANYONE looking at this ad has no information to go on, no emotions being triggered, and no answer to the question "what do I get out of it?"

And as I looked across the huge food court, with its vast ocean of tables, and its hundreds of pointless advertisements, I couldn’t help but wonder how expensive just THIS portion of the Ziba marketing campaign was. It couldn’t seem to get any worse.

Or so I thought.

Little did I know that the best was yet to come. Just when I thought that this campaign couldn’t slide further downhill, it did…

Talk to you next time about it.

To your success,

-Mark

7 replies on “Bad Advertising – Ziba What Were You Thinking? Part II”

hi Mark…

I’ve only recently got into topic of marketing (only to promote my own work)… but I’m amazed how often ads leave me wondering “what was that all about??”… I always thought it must have been clever advertising to leave the consumer scratching their head! So I’m very reassured to read this article from you this morning!

Thank you so much for confirming my thoughts

Jeanne
http://aspirationsplus.typepad.com/uydayg

You made me curious about what Ziba was… so I went to their Website… which follows the same guidelines of inefficient communication.

After a nice looking, but ridiculously long flash intro movie (I should’ve fit “cryptic”in there, as well).

Browsed for a few minutes and I’m still not sure what this is all about…

I don’t have any problems with the picture on the add. If I had seen that table tent I would have immediately known that the woman was threading some part of her face.

However, I agree that the copy should have clearly stated the benefits. For you men out there who have never heard of threading, the copy should have pointed out that threading produces far more accurate results than waxing (especially important when having your eyebrows done), and it’s far faster than tweezing. It basically combines the best of both worlds. It mixes the accuracy of tweezing with the speed of waxing. Too bad the copy didn’t point that out! They probably could have converted a lot of women who wax.

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